Playboy Enterprises Inc. unveils e-commerce initiative with the launch of PlayboyShop.com
New brand merchandizing initiative is being led by Scott Killian who was brought in as Chief Brand Officer Fanatics Retail Group
Just one month ago Playboy announced that with March 2016 issue it would end its nude model photography. The decision made news, but with a rate base of 750,000, it certainly didn’t effect as many subscribers as it once would have. One would think that with a shrinking readership the Playboy brand wouldn’t be as powerful a marketing tool as it once was.
The media company is going to test that, however. Today it announced the launch of PlayboyShop.com, a responsive online store featuring apparel, barware, accessories, and the like.
The effort is being run by Scott Killian who was brought in as Chief Brand Officer in April. Killian came in from Fanatics Retail Group. That company had acquired a company Killian founded and ran, DemandMade, which was a consultancy to multi-channel retailers and manufacturers of consumer products such as Hasbro, eBay and others.
The new website obviously plays off the Playboy brand, selling caps, shirts, pillows and the like. To be honest, the merchandise seems pretty cheesy to me, but maybe you will disagree.
Here is the announcement from Playboy:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – November 10, 2015 — Playboy Enterprises, Inc. unveiled today a major e-commerce initiative with the launch of PlayboyShop.com, a brand new mobile responsive online store featuring newly designed apparel, barware, accessories, one-of-a-kind handmade items, and more. The new shopping destination is being launched in the midst of a total brand transformation at Playboy, which has seen the introduction of a successful safe-for-work website, Playboy.com; the addition of an on-the-go extension of the innovative men’s brand via the Playboy NOW app; and the highly-anticipated reimagining of Playboy magazine, set to make its debut with the March 2016 issue.
From handmade, limited edition items, such as custom cigar boxes and classically crafted cardigan sweaters, to heritage items, like Ebbets Field Flannel jerseys and hats, PlayboyShop.com shines a spotlight on the iconic American cultural institution that is Playboy. Modern apparel comprised of hoodies and T-shirts feature the magazine’s vintage covers, fresh twists to the renowned Rabbit Head logo and pay homage to the U.S. Military with a 1960s replica patch worn by Air Force Academy 19th Squadron Cadets. Beyond the men’s shop, selections are available for women, home and travel with more than 2,000 SKUs.
Spearheading the new e-commerce initiative is Scott Killian, who joined the company a few short months ago as its Chief Brand Officer. Mr. Killian comes to Playboy Enterprises from the billion dollar online sports retailer, Fanatics, where he served as head of the company’s Consumer Products Licensing and Product Creation division. Prior to that, he served as president of ShopNBC, the nation’s third largest television shopping network.
“As we’ve done with our digital and mobile assets, and the coming redesign of the magazine, PlayboyShop.com represents a reset of what the Playboy brand means as a consumer products business in the United States,” said Mr. Killian. “We have partnered with a group of very fine manufacturers to create products that reflect Playboy’s amazing story, from its earliest days through today – all with unique, high-quality items that reflect the very best of this brand’s aspirational ideals. As our founder Hugh Hefner once said, ‘Life is best lived with a little bit of style,’ and that’s exactly what we’ve created with PlayboyShop.com.”
PlayboyShop.com merchandise portrays the edgy artistry and vibrancy that make the Playboy brand unlike any other. The Company expects PlayboyShop.com to grow to feature as many as 10,000 SKUs, ranging from affordable to luxury items. Among the current high-end items on PlayboyShop.com is the TASCHEN-published limited edition bookset, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy, which retails for $1,300. The hard-bound, six volume anthology features the very best of Playboy magazine’s first 25 years, with a selection of each era’s spiciest centerfolds, alongside articles on art, design, architecture; writings by literary legends Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Ian Fleming, Jack Kerouac, and Ray Bradbury; and historic Playboy Interviews with Martin Luther King and John Lennon.